With an estimated 500 trillion feet of natural gas, the Marcellus Shale represents a huge opportunity for energy companies. It's not surprising that Chesapeake Energy, Range Resources, and ExxonMobil are just a few of the companies placing massive bets on their ability to produce in this region. In Under the Surface: Fracking, Fortunes, and the Fate of the Marcellus Shale, author Tom Wilber investigates everything from the initial land rush to the innovations in drilling technology. In this audio segment, he discusses those topics and shares why "on-shore drilling" is becoming so important for these companies and their shareholders.

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Chris Hill owns no shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Chesapeake Energy. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Range Resources and Chesapeake Energy. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.